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The "A Word"

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited April 2015 in Porsche
imageThe "A Word"

The 2015 Porsche Macan S offers an optional Bose audio system. It thinks of itself as kind of a big deal.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • ebeaudoinebeaudoin NE IllinoisPosts: 509
    Last sentence sums it up. If the audio system in your car doesn't cost at least $3,000 it's not worth listening to.

    :D
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited April 2015
    It's always fun to listen to someone's system, and then casually comment that it sounds a little clipped in the high end.

    You get hours of entertainment watching your host dink around with every button and slider on their system. :D

    If it's not Shirley Bassey singing Goldfinger in the phone booth on vinyl, it's not music. :p
  • seppoboyseppoboy Posts: 93
    Eh, a car is not a good environment for high-end audio listening. No car I have owned has been superbly quiet, but I have been front seat passenger in quiet Cadillacs, BMW 7-series, Lexus, and others far more isolated from road noise than my own cars. None of them were capable of providing a truly high-quality listening experience, there are just too many variables of interior layout and materials, audio system design, and noise from drivetrains, tires, airflow and everything else. Even with a great audio system, cars have too much in the way of unpredictable ambient sound disruptions. There is a steeply declining curve on the marginal value of each dollar spent on high end automotive audio systems, and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. Of course, everyone is free to spend their extra money foolishly if they wish.
  • legacygtlegacygt Posts: 599
    I have a Bose system in my Mazda and it's underwhelming. But I have a friend who works at Bose who has told me that designing audio systems for a car (despite all the challenges mentioned in the post) actually is easier in one respect: you know where the listener is sitting. When calibrating home audio systems you set everything up for one listening location and then you actually listen to the music with people sitting, standing and moving all over the place. When these systems are calibrated for a car, they know where the listener is and that they are generally going to stay put..
  • throwbackthrowback Posts: 445
    If you think Bose gets audiophiles fired up, tell one you like Beats headphones. Their heads explode.
  • grijongrijon Posts: 147
    Oh, I LOLed at this one - great post, Dan!
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Surprisingly limited equalization capabilities in this deluxe system. Does the Burmester do any better (for $5700 extra, it darn well should!)?
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    edited April 2015
    You like me...you really like me!

    You know, there is no doubt that the interior of a car is tough to design for, but on the other hand, they have lots and lots of time to come to their own EQ settings that they call, "flat." The interior of the average listening room presents a wide variety more- and less-absorptive and reflective surfaces, just like a car does, and frequently in a much less symmetrical layout relative to the speakers, too. And neither your sound system nor your listening room was designed and arranged by a sound engineer with a huge budget and a lot of time to spend, like your car was. Your car is a known, single-template listening environment.

    Some other wild cards in a listening room, along with no real acoustic engineering or tuning other than following general rules on speaker placement and a balance of absorbent and reflective surfaces, are windows and doors that can be open or closed, ceiling fans, etc. The wild cards in a car are wind, road and drivetrain noise...but in a car those can be compensated for to an extent with active noise reduction/cancellation, because it's a known listening environment.

    Can you get better-quality hardware in a car by going aftermarket, for the same money? Absolutely. Can you integrate them as well acoustically? I guess you could, but probably not for the same money.

    The audiophile question? I don't have a dog in this fight - the people who spend $50 a foot on their cabling and interconnects, and have their listening chair bolted to the floor in the supposed sweet spot are going overboard, and the people who say their heavily-compressed source material coming through $40 earbuds is good enough, and laugh at the audiophiles, are doing it in the other direction. Sorry - that's all I got.

    In this Macan, I think it's kind of silly to have controls for bass, treble, midrange...or even multi-band - and then have a separate defeat setting. You want to defeat all that? Just set everything back to 0.
  • kirkhilles_kirkhilles_ Posts: 151
    I've always thought Bose systems sounded pretty good, but I never understood how the balance could work out well. The driver is all the way to the left and the passenger is all the way to the right. How do you make it sound balanced? Of course, I'm an anti-audiophile. I crank up the treble and the bass and enjoy a completely non-studio experience.
  • boffboff Posts: 91
    I understand the audiophile impulse. It is no better or no worse than any other ...(adopts De Niro's Capone in "The Untouchables")... "enthusiasms". I'd definitely love to put a $5700 stereo in my car, but other priorities in life are higher for me right now. Like buying moar guitars.
  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILPosts: 531
    At least they show a bass clef when adjusting bass. I assume they have a treble clef in the background when adjusting treble?
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